Yoga isn’t just for stressed out moms and Buddhists. Yoga can also be beneficial to busy executives. The ancient practice is not only great for physical well-being but also, for mental well-being.
“The essential, but often under-appreciated, aspect of yoga is breathing. It is key to mind body synchronization and can contribute to improved productivity, more grounded decision making and clearer communication,” explains yoga instructor Temani F. Aldine, who is also general counsel/VP of communications at Dahn Yoga & Health Centers, Inc. in Mesa, AZ.
With Yoga being so popular now, it is easy to find a style (there are various styles of yoga—from Bikram, which is done in heated rooms to make you sweat to the calming Restorative yoga to the physically challenging Vinyasa) to fit your needs. “I remember a time when finding a good yoga class was like a hunt. These days, it is more like a shopping spree,” notes Aldine. “There are many DVDs and even online classes available. If possible, I recommend starting out with a live class to get an experiential foundation with an instructor. In most major cities, there are a variety of styles of yoga available in gyms, community centers as well as dedicated yoga studios. September is National Yoga Month and free or discounted classes can be found at yogahealthfoundation.org.”
One of the best things about yoga is that you can do a few poses in your office to de-stress in the middle of a busy day. There is no equipment required. “I am a Dahn Yoga instructor and our style of yoga focuses on the core. Some postures for the core can be modified and done sitting in a chair,” suggest Aldine. “You can try a simple leg lift–keeping both feet parallel and lifting them at the same time, then stretching the legs out. This will offer a nice stretch for the calves and quads, and help firm up the lower abdomen.”
The benefits of yoga will reach beyond the office. “I have been practicing some form of yoga since 1992. From my own experience, and from what I have seen with students and colleagues, it can lessen incidents of certain illnesses and injuries. It also helps many people recover quickly from illness or surgery. It could be due to deeper sleep or better posture. The social and emotional benefits of yoga can also not be underestimated,” notes Aldine.